Level 1, IFC Mall, Central
Visited 31st December
It's strange that I've never managed to make it to Simplylife Bread and Wine before; my mother lives in Australia yet she seems to be something of a regular. Anyway, located on the first floor of the IFC mall this joint is both a restaurant and a cafe. The restaurant is off to the side while the casual cafe seating has views over Victoria Harbour and Kowloon, though the low angle means the foreground is chocked with buses. As I entered, the busy open kitchen, rows of pretty pastries and a wine covered wall all vied for my attention.
I suppose the 'cafe' is more of an upmarket sandwich bar as they mainly sell pastries and pre-made sandwiches. I wasn't overly hungry so went for a small, toasted panini with cheese and prosciutto and a cafe latte. The crisp, grilled sandwich was good; filled with plenty of salty prosciutto and a gooey cheese it was a nourishing and tasty lunch. The coffee was decent though I was a bit disappointed that it was served in a paper cup; I saw mugs there and it would have been nice if the barista asked me for my preference. I did glance at the main restaurant's menu and it looked interesting so I'll have to come back and check it out.
Simplylife Bread and Wine is a good spot for lunch in the IFC; the bread is tasty and obviously fresh, while the views aren't half bad. Value wise it was pretty fair; my sandwich was $32 ($48 for a large) and the coffee was $22. If you compare Simply Life Bread and Wine to Starbucks and Pacific Coffee you have to wonder why anyone bothers to visit the chains. At Simply Life the food is miles ahead, while the coffee is better and cheaper. I do find this rather interesting as Simplylife is run by the Maxim's Group who also hold the Hong Kong franchise for Starbucks - one works, one doesn't.
Visit restaurant website.